Well, it depends…

If your customer base is defined by a geographic region or metro area, then local SEO will be key to increasing phone calls, driving more foot traffic, and converting local leads into customers.

If your customer base exceeds a specific geographic area, i.e. the state, national, or global level, then organic SEO, or sometimes referred to as enterprise SEO, is the preferred path.

At the local level, more than 75% of local searches convert into leads for a local business.  And of those searches, over 90% will click or call the business that’s found in the top 3 local search results – i.e. letters A, B, or C in Google Maps.

At the organic level, searches that do not appear to be relevant for a local business, product, or service will exclude the local search results altogether.

Let’s compare the local search results to the organic search results in Google.

Here’s a screenshot showing the front page of Google along with the difference between local and organic search results:

Local SEO vs Organic SEO Google Search Results


Disclaimer:  Lewis Company Floors, the letter A ranked business in the screenshot above, is one of our clients here at Bipper Media.

For the search results on the left, all I typed into Google was the phrase “carpet cleaners”.  This phrase suggested that I’m looking for a service that is locally based, even though I didn’t include a city name in my search.  As you can see, Google makes calculated assumptions based on the intent of the search.  If I type something into Google that suggests I’m looking for a locally based business, then Google will automatically increase the local search results at the top of page one.

On the right, you can see the opposite effect taking place.  People search for “kobe bryant basketball shoes” all over the world, and more than likely they are willing to make a purchase online.  This search phrase does not suggest I’m looking specifically for a locally based business.  As such, the local search results are excluded from the search results.

When I type a phrase into Google that suggests I’m looking for a locally based business, Google uses the IP address of my phone or computer to automatically include the city name in which I’m located.  Since I’m here in Athens, Georgia, when I type “carpet cleaners” into Google, it’s equivalent to me typing “carpet cleaners in athens, ga”.


So you have to ask yourself, does my business serve a locally targeted customer base or a global audience.  And depending on the answer, you will know if you need to pursue a global or local SEO campaign.